Oh, this is rich.
First, the iPhone launches, with AT&T as its only US provider, and an unlimited data plan as the standard package.
Because the iPhone is popular, users flock to AT&T. Because internet access from the iPhone is easy, people do it, a lot.
AT&T's network staggers under the load, leading to dropped calls and poor performance.
AT&T's solution? "Some form of usage-based pricing for data is inevitable," according to the Associated Press.
What I want to know is why anyone was surprised by this. The history of the internet -- the history of computing -- tells us that if you make access easier, people will do more of it. And now AT&T is shocked, simply shocked, that people are actually using all those bandwidth intensive links that Apple so helpfully provides.
Of course AT&T's dilemma is real. They need to improve service, and the money to do that has to come from somewhere. But capping usage seems like such a late-1990s way to go about it. Given the bandwidth demands of the Apple Store, I wonder what Apple will have to say about this.
(Link by way of the Atlantic business channel.)